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lady narcissa

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Everything posted by lady narcissa

  1. Well I am somewhat amazed to see how time has flown by and Worldcon is already possibly coming back to Chicago. It seems like you all were just here for Chicon 7! No surprise, I am hoping for Chicago for 2022 and hope this virus is contained by then and hope to see many of you here!
  2. It was interesting. I don't read Rothfuss's books but I've seen him on a number of panels at Worldcon and other comic cons and I find him enjoyable to listen to. He has a very soothing voice. And it was obvious he is a fan of the Dresden Files books. I'd say just because of the way he talks - slow and methodical - the session was 80% him talking and 20% Butcher. But most of it was about the Dresden Files with some sidebars on the pandemic and other things. Most interesting is I discovered why I can't read the Dresden Files. I tried to read them but I live in Chicago and the Dresden Files Chicago is just not Chicago. And I've learned the reason for this from this chat - because the Dresden Files wasn't written as being in Chicago when Butcher started the series, it took place in Kansas City. But his agent (or maybe editor, I can't remember) told him it couldn't be set in Missouri because the Laurell K. Hamilton books were set in Missouri and there couldn't be two series based there. (Which just seems bizarre.) So he looked at a globe which only had DC, NYC, LA and Chicago labeled on the US, eliminated the other 3 cities, and decided to go with Chicago. For me, the reason I love Urban Fantasy is I love sense of place in stories. Stories that are shaped by their location and couldn't be the stories they are if they were in a different location. The Dresden Files lacked this for me. The location just felt like a much smaller city. Which makes sense when you understand it was Kansas City. I think its too bad he was made to switch locations like that. It would have been interesting to see what he could have done with a location he actually knew as opposed to one he picked out from a globe. You can watch their chat if you are interested:
  3. Another virtual author event...if anyone is fans of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, he is talking with Pat Rothfuss out it tomorrow (Thursday) night: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/penguin-worlds-book-club-jim-butcher-in-conversation-with-patrick-rothfuss-registration-103472160016
  4. I'm 1-1/2 books into Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti series and am so far enjoying it. This is good because it seems just about every day amazon has at least one of the ebooks on sale for $1.99 so these will be easy to scoop up and binge. I really like all the descriptions of Venice. I find myself keeping a map at my side as I read so I can follow along as they move through the city. I like the workings in of Italian politics and Brunett's family. And the food and restaurants!
  5. I don't know for sure but I was looking around their website and it looks like there is a good chance they will. If you go to their Shows page you will see that for some past events it says the recordings are available with links to those on youtube.
  6. I just finally got around to reading this. I loved the location of the new series. I actually hiked the coast of North Devon on summer and have been to quite a few of the places mentioned in the book so that really brought it to life for me. I am a bit on the fence about this detective and the supporting characters. I didn't take to him as instantly as I did Vera or Jimmy. But I sometimes think sense of place is more important to me than characters so I will probably continue when she writes more. I've just started the first Donna Leon. I am enjoying Venice in it and seeing it through a local's eyes with all the buildings and politics. I hope I end up enjoying it as it would be nice to have a backlog to go through. I read the first three Louise Penny's but got wind of what was ahead in the series with the detective and his job and I just did not want to read through that so I stopped reading. I did enjoy the food, however! I read the first two Tana French when the ebooks were promoted at $1.99 around the time the tv series came out but then I was off put on the $11.99 ebook pricing for the rest so held off on continuing. Anyone who has similarly been put off by the ebook prices of C.J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake series - the 5th one Heartstone is currently on sale on amazon.com for $1.99. That is probably my favorite of the series. And a big thanks to those with recommendations in this thread. I have picked up so many books based on recommendations here. I have a huge stack to read my way through from Jane Harper to P.F. Chisholm with many in between.
  7. The most recent one seemed to take place in 2016 with reference to Bowie's death that January. It is probably smart to operate a few years in the past like that. You can be contemporary but have some breathing room for working in the current events as you are writing. For anyone who is a fan of the Mercy Thompson series...this Saturday (May 23rd), Charlaine Harris will interview Patricia Briggs about her new book, Smoke Bitten. Then Dana Cameron and Toni Kelner (Leigh Perry) will join them for a panel discussion on Worldbuilding. The Leading Ladies of Urban Fantasy is part of a series of Saturday afternoon panels by Essence of Wonder. It starts at 3 PM (Eastern Time) and it is free but you have to register. https://essenceofwonder.com/2020/05/04/masters-of-urban-fantasy-charlaine-harris-patricia-briggs-dana-cameron-and-toni-kelner/ The one nice thing about this whole stay at home and all conventions and book tours canceled is a lot of authors and conventions are now going online which makes it so nice and easy to "attend". I've been able to see a lot of authors "on tour" these past two months who I never would have been able to see if they went on their planned in person tours this spring.
  8. I read the first three of these about 10 years ago. I ended up not continuing. My vague recollection is I just had a hard time with the angels in the story. I do enjoy stories with angels but I am picky about how they are portrayed. I do have a super great memory of reading the second one though...it was on a flight between Chicago and Stockholm and I had a priest (one from the Vatican in his full black silk robes and hat ensemble) sitting next to me and I just kept inwardly laughing at reading a book with sex scenes with an archangel in it while sitting next to a priest! Even though it wasn't that sort of archangel. My own experience with having read romance novels in the 1970s/80s/90s was for all those decades you had the alpha hero as the norm and the all encompassing standard in both contemporary and historical romance novels. Then in the 90s people began to question the alpha hero and there was a movement away from them and they became less acceptable, especially in contemporary romances. They continued on a bit longer in historical romances because people would use stereotypes about history and womens' supposed lack of agency in history to justify the role but eventually even in historicals there was a movement away from them. However, some people despite all this just really liked the dynamic of the alpha hero in romance novels. And that is when paranormal romance became popular with vampires and werewolves and angels because here was a scenario where the alpha hero could sneak back in. It was no longer acceptable for a human hero to be an alpha asshole but an inhuman hero...especially one that was hundreds or thousands of years old, well of course there was going to be that dynamic when they encountered a 23 year old mortal female. But even then the alpha hero was hard to sustain indefinitely in the face of criticism against it and as romance shifted away even from that, that is when erotica, or at least much more graphic sex scenes than had been the norm in the past, really took off in romance. Of course, I am generalizing, there was and are always exceptions to this. But that was the general trend I witnessed. As for my own current reading...I guess I have been on somewhat of an UF reading kick. I read and enjoyed the latest Peter Grant, as mentioned above. Then I read two novels by former YA authors that were billed as Adult Fantasy but really made quite a lot of their locations which were integral to the stories so I think they qualify more as UF than just pure Fantasy. Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth which takes place in two alternative Chicago's had an interesting premise - what happens to the chosen ones after the big bad has been defeated and they have to go one leading "normal" lives again? But it ultimately went a different direction and was somewhat dissatisfying. Then Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas takes place in a purely fictional location but the city was pretty well detailed and an integral part of the story. I'd put it more in the Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy category. I enjoyed this one a little more but wished it had been better. Then I read the first three Alex Versus books. I like the idea of the premise of the Alex Versus series. I really like the characters a lot. I like Alex - mage with a magic shop in London. I love Elementals and I love that they are in this world. But I could not love this series because of the actual storylines the characters are put through in each book. With each book I just wanted to read about Alex and Luna and then Anne - just in different stories. I really hate to compare books and try to enjoy them for themselves but I just could not stop comparing these to the Peter Grant books as much as I tried not to. And I just kept wishing they were more like the Peter Grant books. I might continue with the series someday but I think I am going to stop for now. And that was way more than I expected to post tonight!
  9. Yes I like that too. I'm willing to pay $7.99 for an ebook that I am interested in reading. Just reluctant to pay it for the first in series when its unknown territory. But I will pay for the others if I enjoy this one.
  10. Based on comments on this board I have been meaning to try the Alex Versus series but stubbornly waited several years until the first book in the series - the ebook kindle version - finally went on sale for $1.99 this week. It's still on sale if anyone else has been waiting to try this series. I've only just started it so no thoughts other than the beginning got me interested enough to continue.
  11. The cover glows in the dark? Oh my! Thanks for sharing that tidbit. I must procure it for sure then once this is all over.
  12. I just started that this week as well. I got a little tripped up with the back and forth of the first few chapters. I didn't notice at first the months kept flipping and it was a bit confusing! But now I've gotten it straightened out. I normally order the English hardcover but didn't do so on time before quarantine set in and decided I needed a treat so purchased the ebook for now. Hope to get the hardcover once this is all over as I love these covers so much and like to have a physical copy for the shelves.
  13. Initially I was thinking less of reading between the lines and more of just choosing among the stories that were at one point put out officially by those with the license to do so which may or may not be "official" anymore. So between all the movies and books and comics and tv shows that have been put out under first Lucas and then Disney - chose whichever stories work best for you. To the extent there are contradictions and variations between them, it does venture into headcanon territory since you are choosing between them. But I wasn't thinking of making up new things myself or writing fanfiction. I mean I got tired of being so bummed over the stories we got in movies 8 and 9 when there were other stories out there about some of these same characters I enjoyed more so I decided to stop being bummed and go with what made me feel joy for SWs again.
  14. At this point SWs stories are just choose your own adventure. Pick the stories and timelines that work for you. Anything is possible and everything you don't like just happened in an Alternative Universe.
  15. I have all of those on my SWs bookshelf...in hardcover! I will be rereading them all! I have no recollection of most of them, this will be fun.
  16. Well despite not going to see The Rise of Skywalker I read the plot summary and desperate to wash that alternate storyline out of my head I decided to go back to the original SWs after Jedi stories. Been reading Zahn's Heir to the Empire trilogy and I can't tell you what a relief it is. I feel like I've been awoken from a nightmare and found it was all just a bad dream and I'm back in the correct storyline. Is it perfect? No. But I would so much rather read these stories than what the movies did. I also read one of the new Zahn Thrawn books. It was mildly enjoyable. What I liked most about it was it just presented the 'Evil' Empire as just government with the normal bureaucracy stuff. We are so used to looking at it from the Rebels perspective that it was nice to see it from the POV of people just operating from within it. I'll continue with it if I can get the other books in the series cheap.
  17. On my cell phone I access this site through the internet browser, I don't use an app. I never have had any problem before until I got my new phone this week. Now every time I come to this site I get pop ups telling me my phone has been hacked or compromised. I don't get this on any other site I look at. It goes away if I go to another site.
  18. Has anyone read the Jack Taylor series by Ken Bruen? I'm going to Galway for the first time next month and understand the series takes place there and thought it might be interesting to read a few. Otherwise if anyone has any recommendations for Galway or Dublin based mysteries, please suggest away!
  19. And another deal! Not sure if anyone is interested in the Kindle deals of the mysteries that have been recommended here but today the first Donna Leon is on sale for $1.99. I'm picking this one up so I can finally start this series! (I think I have a paper copy but the font is so small!) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007SIV41G/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_4_w?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-2&pf_rd_r=K8MD3BZ9W4SYK0KKVAAN&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=efbd074c-33ab-4b82-9b90-7265f897ce5d&pf_rd_i=11552285011
  20. Speaking of Ann Cleeve's Shetland series, the 7th one, Cold Earth is a Kindle deal today for $2.99. https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Earth-Shetland-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01LXQR9US/ref=sr_1_6?crid=3A5NZPYVAGIN5&keywords=ann+cleeves+shetland+series&qid=1561923196&s=gateway&smid=AYA46IZIY6C51&sprefix=ann+clee%2Caps%2C154&sr=8-6
  21. It came up as a recommendation for me on amazon. It's coming out in September. Looks like we are heading down to Devon. I think its interesting she doesn't stay locked into the same detective. Another similarity of hers with Christie, I guess. I think its smart. Its all too easy to just keep churning out the same series but then you run the risk of getting a bit too formulaic and stale. This way she can always go back to a detective if she gets a new idea for them but can keep them on the shelf if not. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1509889566/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_4?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1
  22. This was exactly the experience I had reading her Thin Air Shetland book. Fantastic read, great visiting characters, wonderful sense of place, and good murder victims...until you got to the end and then it all fell apart for me. But since the other 98% of the book was so enjoyable I guess it gets a pass. I haven't seen any of the tv series based on her books. I would like to see them someday but I think I'd rather finish the two series before watching any of them. I've seen the actress who plays Vera in other things and I have a hard time wrapping my head around her as Vera. She seems much cuddlier than bookVera. I see that Cleeves has a new series with a new detective in a new location coming out later this year. Looking forward to that.
  23. Thanks, I think I am generally not a fan of cosy mysteries. I find the quality of a lot of them is low - at least the ones I've tried. I seem to be able to lower my quality bar when it comes to holiday based ones as the embellishments of the holiday outweigh the lower quality of the story. That said I'd certainly read a non-holiday one if people had specific recommendations of good ones. I generally do pretty well at amazon with mysteries. I add books I want to my wishlist and then just check them every day until one day they go on offer and I have had good success. The bizarre exception to this is the Duncan Kincaid/ Gemma James series by Deborah Crombie. After getting the first one for $1.99 the second one has never strayed from its $7.99 price - I've been watching it for 4 years now! It the stubborn holdout on my wishlist.
  24. I did not know about that site, thank you! Who knew there were so many St. Patrick's Day mysteries!?!
  25. Oh that is good to hear. I've only read one book in that series and I think it was not the traditional setup as it was up on the A9 and not in Edinburgh. But I quite enjoyed it and hope to read more in the series. I just wish the ebooks would be on offer a bit more so I could pick some more up. (I'm cheap when it comes to ebooks and hold out for the $1.99 offers.) Currently I've been reading several of Ann Cleeves Shetland series. I'm on my 5th of the 8 books in the series. I love these books for their sense of place more than the mysteries which tend to vary - one was a pretty so so mystery and then another was a pretty decent mystery until the very end when it fell apart for me. I've never been to the Shetland Islands so I can't say how well she depicts the islands but they seem quite accurate. And I can really picture all the places she describes as I'm reading. Sometimes I pop over to google street views to try to see some of the areas and roads being described and it does look as described. I'll eventually read all of these. I must admit to a certain fondness for cosy mysteries set around holidays. There is one such series by Leslie Meier that is fairly mediocre but it satisfies my desire for seasonal holiday reading and they are frequently on offer for $1.99 (!) so they check off two boxes for me. I mean when I can read books set around 4th of July, Mother's Day, Halloween, Valentine's Day, and St. Patrick's Day, I'm pretty happy. Just read one set around the 4th of July which was probably the worst of the bunch but that was proceeded by one on a summer trip to England which was fairly enjoyable so they balance out.
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